Leavitt Joseph "Lev" Pope died of natural causes in his Scarsdale, NY home on April 18. A founder, President and CEO of New York's first independent television station WPIX, Pope was 83.
An MIT graduate, Pope joined the New York Daily News as an administrative assistant after four-years in the US Army during World War II. He helped when the paper launched WPIX in June, 1948. The station derived its call letters from the News, often referred to as "New York’s picture paper."
Elected Vice President in Charge of Operations in 1956, a Director of WPIX in 1961, Executive Vice President in 1971, and President and CEO in 1975, Pope brought diverse local sports and event coverage to New York's airwaves.
Under Pope's watch WPIX received a number of awards including Emmy Awards, New York State Broadcasters Awards and a Peabody.
In addition to his duties at the station, Pope was a member of the board at the Daily News as well as at the Tribune Company. He was also a Chairman of the New York State Broadcasters Association, and a Director of the National Association of Broadcasters.
Pope was also the treasurer of the trustees of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and served on various charities.
Pope is survived by his wife of 58 years, 11 children and 24 grandchildren.